Why Liverpool are playing Karlsruher in 1st pre-season friendly

Liverpool are wasting no time when it comes to tying up their laces for the first pre-season friendly, and it takes them to Germany for the opening of a new stadium.

Jurgen Klopp likes to couple his double sessions with friendlies early in pre-season, as “technique when you are slightly exhausted is a completely different thing.”

It means the players will not be at 100 percent, but that is the point as they combine their training camp with action on the pitch.

Liverpool’s first of two friendlies in Germany sees them meet Karlsruher SC, but who are they and why are the Reds playing them?


Why are the Reds playing Karlsruher?

In previous years under Klopp, the manager has sought out local English teams in lower divisions to help kickstart their pre-season games.

It did not happen last year and this time Karlsruher represent a team outside of the top flight, but in Germany.

The occasion does not only mark the first pre-season friendly for Liverpool, though, as the Reds are also playing their part in the reopening of Karlsruher’s revamped stadium, Wildparkstadion.

The German club have played at the ground since it opened in 1955 but it has undergone significant redevelopment since 2018, and the Reds are part of the grand opening of its new look.

A historic event calls for a historic team at the 35,000-capacity ground.

It is something the two clubs have in common this summer, as Anfield will have a new look come the first home game of the season against Bournemouth following the expansion of the Anfield Road End.


So, who are Karlsruher?

Manager: Christian Eichner
Last season: 7th (2. Bundesliga)

Karlsruher SC is a German club based in Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg. They currently compete in 2.Bundesliga, the second tier of German football.

They finished 20 points outside the promotion places last season, in seventh, meaning their stay outside the top division extended into its 14th year.

Their manager, Christian Eichner played six times against Klopp’s Dortmund and tasted defeat on every occasion.

Klopp’s record as a manager in meetings with Karlsruhe, in total, is five wins, four draws and one defeat – he also played against them as a player.

Karlsruhe’s fierce rivals are VfB Stuttgart, Klopp’s hometown club, and was previously home to the likes of Joachim Low, Slaven Bilic and Oliver Kahn.

Their player to watch for this one is Fabian Schleusener, who scored 16 goals and created six last season – he’ll be eager to pray on heavy Liverpool legs.


How can I watch?

SINGAPORE - Friday, July 15, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the Standard Chartered Trophy pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Handout Photo by Full Circle PR)

Liverpool’s first pre-season meeting kicks off at 5.30pm (BST), 6.30pm local time on Wednesday.

You can watch the match live on LFCTV here, or follow along on This Is Anfield’s liveblog, Henry Jackson will be keeping you entertained and up to date with all the action and, no doubt, copious amount of substitutions.